This week Sport for Confidence CIC was joined by local councillors, project partners and a number of Basildon residents to celebrate the return of cycling to the Sport For Confidence programme at Basildon Sporting Village. 
Therapeutic cycling was first introduced to the Sport For Confidence programme back in 2021 but had to be withdrawn when funding came to an end. Now, thanks to investment from the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot and additional ‘in kind’ funding from local partners – including Basildon Council, Everyone Active, Sport England and Cycling UK, Sport For Confidence has been able to invest in its own range of adaptive bikes, providing a sustainable future for the activity. 
Megan Potts, Clinical Lead and Occupational Therapist, Sport For Confidence, says: “Through the introduction of adaptive bikes in a supported, safe environment that embraces the individual needs of those involved, many more people can get involved in an activity so many of us take for granted. It’s a sad fact that disabled people are half as likely as the rest of the population to be active. Through creating accessible opportunities like this, we break down barriers to participation, tackling inequalities and creating environments that encourage everyone to thrive.” 
Therapeutic cycling sessions will be run by Sport For Confidence occupational therapists and sports coaches every Thursday from now until November, taking advantage of the summer weather. Two sessions are timetabled, 09:30am-10:15am and 10:15am-11:00am. All sessions need to be pre-booked via Michelle Armitt, Occupational Therapist, to ensure needs can be matched to the most appropriate bike. 
Cllr Jeff Henry, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing, Leisure, Arts and Culture, welcomed the return of the sessions: “These sessions bring all the benefits of cycling to those who may otherwise miss out, and it is fantastic to see local people improving their health and wellbeing through these support sessions. 
“We want Basildon to be home to healthy and active local communities – that means making physical activity accessible for all and supporting everyone to get active. Thank you to Sport for Confidence and all the partners of the Local Delivery Pilot for making this possible.” 
This initiative supports Sport For Confidence’s wider mission to unlock the therapeutic value sport can deliver. Through a recent partnership with British Cycling and a number of other organisations from the cycling community, Sport For Confidence has produced ‘The Therapeutic Value of Cycling - a resource for health professionals’ to help and encourage health professionals to embed cycling into clinical practice. 
Megan continues: “Cycling and many other sports, delivered as part of therapeutic practice, can deliver a range of cognitive, sensory, social and physical outcomes that positively impact quality of life and improve the health and well-being of those involved. We are working with several National Governing Bodies of Sport, cycling being just one of them, to unlock their potential as an assessment and intervention tool for health care professionals. The therapeutic cycling sessions at Basildon Sporting Village will help us to evidence the hugely positive contribution this approach can make to levelling up health inequalities and improving the overall health of the nation.” 
Find our more about Basildon Sporting Village  
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